ISSUE 135 ISSN 1712-468

Be thankful for the least gift,
so shalt thou be meant to receive greater.

Thomas à Kempis
German Author
1380 – 1471

This Week's Inspiration

The Power of a Thankful and Grateful Heart!



Conscious of benefit received; expressive of thanks; well pleased; kindly or grateful thoughts; an expression of gratitude



Appreciative of benefits received; expressing gratitude; affording pleasure or contentment; pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated

The Power of a Thankful and Grateful Heart!

Whatever our condition or circumstances, we can all have a thankful and grateful heart!

Before you go into your head about how hard done by you are and how you have nothing to be grateful about, please read on.

Imagine you have two children between the ages of 10 and 12.

Given the character of those boys, which child would you prefer to indulge . . . the thankful boy or the ungrateful one? Of course, we all would enjoy giving to the first child. Why? Because he has a thankful heart! Who wants to give to someone who will whine at (and negate) all your efforts?

In fact, the complaining and ungratefulness of the second child will earn him the exact opposite response from what he wishes to achieve. He wants more, but his behavior will earn him less.

The first child is happy with less, but his character will earn him more!

I want you to reflect carefully on that example. Are you the first child, thankful for what you have, or are you the second child who complains, exhibiting an ungrateful heart?

Self-examination can hurt, but please stay with me to see how powerful your choice can be for you—and for all adults, in all contexts and situations.

When we are ungrateful, we focus on what we don't have, rather than what we do have. Instead of embracing our dreams, goals, and vision, we get stuck in a "don't have" rut. I have written about this many times: The areas where we focus our attention and energy become magnified. And when we focus on our "lack," we attract more of it to us.

When we put our attention on what we don't have, we miss the mark on what we really could achieve.

Over the past year, much of the world has focused on what it does not have rather than what it has. Thankfulness has shifted to criticism and an ungrateful mindset—for myself, too!

Let me share a personal example.

As mentioned in previous articles, I sit as chair of a private school board. Our school building is located on property shared with a church. The agreement and arrangements for the placement of our building at this location were nothing short of miraculous.

When we struck the deal, the leadership of the church was amazing; we all focused on the future vision of working together. Shortly afterward, there was an unfortunate split within the church group and new leadership took over. Their direction shifted from an attitude of thankfulness to one of ungratefulness and a complaining heart.

For months, we attempted to help them adapt their thinking from ungrateful to thankful. I started to notice that by association, my board and I were letting their negative attitude seep into our thinking. Instead of looking at what we could do, we were focusing on what we could not achieve. That is dangerous and certainly not productive. Our association with that church was dragging us down; we were letting them frustrate us.

I admit I had let some of the ungratefulness of the other group slip into my mindset with regard to the school, but no longer. After months of failed attempts, we stopped pursuing the possibility of working effectively with them. Then we focused on ALL our options and possibilities and chose to release any bad feelings toward that group.

Finally, as a board with roots in faith, we focused on His provisions and promises. Our group refocused and spent time being thankful for what we have accomplished, then outlined what we feel we can achieve in the future. The exercise was powerful and encouraging to all of us.

Our decision to think positively and to be grateful for what we have is paying off. Our school has doubled in student numbers and the growth is continuing in the 20% range year over year. We have an amazing group of staff members—men and women who care about the transformation of the students and about offering the best possible education experience.

There is no hiding people's mindset or heart; the results of our actions, attitudes, and character are there for all to see. That's just the way it is. The result for the church was that many other people withdrew from the stressful situation that was breeding strife among so many individuals and local organizations. The church is now on its third board chair in as many years, and has earned the reputation of being rigid, uncooperative, and devoid of vision.

Last month, I spoke at the National Speakers Association National Convention. We had anticipated 60 people would attend my session but when fewer than 30 showed up, I wanted to feel disappointed.

After a few moments, I adjusted that mindset to being thankful for the great individuals who did attend. After all, it was not their fault that others chose not to come; those who were there deserved the best I could provide.

Whatever your condition or situation, you have the choice of being thankful or unthankful.

Which are you choosing?

To help you on your journey to confirm your purpose in all areas in your life and to stop the excuses, I recommend my 88-page workbook, My Source EXPERIENCE Journal™. It will take you on a personal discovery that will assist you to confirm and affirm your passions in life.

As building blocks, I also suggest CRG's Values Preference Indicator, Self-Worth Inventory, Stress Indicator and Health Planner, and the Personal Style Indicator.

Follow these Action Steps and complete the recommended resources, to help you reap the rewards of no excuses.

This Week's Action Steps

The Power of a Thankful and Grateful Heart!

  1. To those who appreciate a little, much more will be given. A thankful heart attracts more and the ungrateful heart gets less of what it desires!

  2. At this time in your life, are you thankful and grateful for what you have? Yes? No? What would others say about your level of thankfulness?

  3. Thankfulness releases the power of attracting other positives into your life. Being unthankful does the opposite. Take a minute to embrace the next step.

  4. List mentally or in print all the things for which you are thankful—friends, health, achievements, family, the place you live—any number of things.

  5. Carefully think about something for which you have NOT felt thankful over the past few weeks. Switch that thinking to embrace a grateful attitude. Example: You injured your knee in a sports accident and you are focusing on what you cannot do. Shift to being thankful that your other knee is still in great shape and that the injured one is expected to heal. The injury could have been permanent.

  6. Being thankful is a choice. In my experience, those who are clear about their purpose and who live with confidence are generally people with thankful and grateful hearts. Individuals who are not living on purpose usually feel less thankful. To help you get clearer on your passion or calling, I encourage you to engage the process outlined step-by-step in My Source EXPERIENCE Journal™ A Personal Discovery Process for Those Who Want to Lead a Passionate and Fulfilling Life.

  7. Benchmark your gifts, talents, and preferences by using CRG assessments. Your results will assist you to be more grateful and to make better decisions, with confidence and clarity. As part of the clarification process, we recommend four specific assessments.

  8. In almost every article, I mention the power of affiliation—it's both positive and negative. Think about the individuals around you, personally and professionally. Is your inner circle a group of people who exhibit a thankful and grateful heart or are they showing the opposite characteristics? It is very difficult to hang out with ungrateful people and still feel thankful yourself. In spite of the possibility that they are your friends, you need to take charge of your space. Please limit your exposure to unthankful individuals or groups. Why? We become like the people around us.

  9. Over the next week, pay attention to your language and the way you think about events. Are you REALLY thankful . . . or?

  10. Encourage others around you to change their thinking, then to watch their own transformation. Make it a game; challenge each other to exhibit thankfulness in all things.

  11. Now enjoy the power of your thankful heart and enjoy new confidence, pride, self-respect, competence, and success.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!

Ken Keis

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